I recently answered this question at Quora and thought I’d bring the discussion here on my own site. My answer was in response to the inference that they could be damaging to someone’s business. And there seems to me, that some think you just engage a VA when you want something done – they don’t realise that this can be a long-term arrangement.
I’d like you to consider that a Virtual Assistant can be long-term use, not just short-term. Why engage lots of different VAs when you can keep one or two (or more if needed) as permanent support?
I’ve been a VA for nearly 26 years. I have clients who have been with me for over 15 years. I know their businesses and they know and trust me. The only reason why any of my clients would seek to engage another VA is if I don’t have the skills for something else they want done, or if I’m on leave. And usually, for either of these options, I help them secure another VA to assist them from the team of VAs I work with.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to get a new VA every time you want something done. Build a working relationship and use one who is well suited to your needs.
Remember, a VA is experienced and skilled at the types of things you engage them for. Money well spent and also a taxable expense. They are helping you to keep your business running so that you can concentrate on making more income, rather than trying to manage your daily business activities to keep it running.
Also, I encourage you to seek a VA through a VA Network and not a freelancing site. The VA Networks are designed to provide support to the VA industry, assist VAs in their continued learning and usually have criteria for each member to meet.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.